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      01-04-2018, 11:15 AM   #1
Vetracr
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N52 Oil Cooler Installation

As I run HPDE events here in South Florida I run on some pretty hot days. I got concerned when I started seeing oil temps rising above 250 degrees at Sebring. As there is little info available on these cars I did some homework. I found out the oil filter housing on the N52 has the same part number as the N54. A little further digging and I found you could mount the N54 oil thermostat housing to the N52 oil filter housing which allows you to hook up an oil cooler. The only other mod required was to block the coolant line that fed the N52 heat exchanger. While on that topic it must be noted the N52 oil cooler isn't a cooler, its a water/oil heat exchanger whose function is heat up the engine faster to meet smog requirements.
The first picture shows the stock heat exchanger
The second picture shows the oil cooler thermostat housing install
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      01-04-2018, 11:20 AM   #2
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The BMW oil cooler and lines for the N54 costs a fortune so I assembled and built my own installation. After removing the bumper I removed a section of the wheel well and installed a louvered panel to allow air flowing through the oil cooler to escape into the wheel well.
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      01-04-2018, 11:22 AM   #3
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I made my own brackets to support the oil cooler. The only mod I had to make was to install two 1/4" inserts into the aluminum frame rail
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      01-04-2018, 11:28 AM   #4
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My car was a European delivery model which came with headlight washers. This caused a problem because of the space and position of the washers. I had to mount the oil cooler off to the side from the air entry and at the rear of the area available. I chose a Setrab 19 row, 2" wide cooler as it matched the size of the air opening in the grill. I made the mounting brackets from aluminum. One end attached to the frame rail. The other end i attached to an existing frame mount, probably for the factory cooler
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      01-04-2018, 11:33 AM   #5
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As the oil cooler was offset from the grill opening and the area where the cooler was not sealed I had to add air flow shields to direct the air to the oil cooler
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      01-04-2018, 11:36 AM   #6
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The factory grill is a solid piece that blocks any air flow into the area. I removed the grill plate and cut out the solid area. I then added a grill to allow air flow through the grill while still keeping an almost stock appearance
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      01-04-2018, 11:40 AM   #7
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The headlight washers were still a problem. I had to further rim the air shields to clear the washer and hose
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Last edited by Vetracr; 01-04-2018 at 12:04 PM..
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      01-04-2018, 11:42 AM   #8
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As I noted earlier when you remove the factory oil/water heat exchanger you have to cap the water outlet on the feed line to the water pump. a 5/8" Dorman hose cap fits perfectly.
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      01-04-2018, 11:44 AM   #9
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When completed the front of the car looks as shown below. Most people will never notice the change. FYI The line you see below the car is my connection to a battery tender.
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Last edited by Vetracr; 01-04-2018 at 12:03 PM..
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      01-04-2018, 11:55 AM   #10
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Some follow on notes.
Make sure you leave slack in the hose lines to allow for any engine movement.
Fill the oil cooler and the lines with oil before connecting them to the oil thermostat. This can be tricky with bottom outlets on the cooler. I connected one hose line to the cooler and flipped it upside down so I could add oil to the cooler. When the cooler was full. I then attached the second line to the cooler, flipped it over and bolted it in place. I then filled the hoses with oil before attaching them to the oil thermostat. The cooler and hose lines took almost a quart of oil so there will be 8 quarts of oil circulating instead of the factory 7 quarts.
I kept the factory oil thermostat so the engine would heat up the same way as an N54 engine would. The thermostat starts to open at 240 degrees which is just what I wanted.
Its been too cold in Florida to test the new install so I'll have to wait until things thaw out to find out how well cooler will work.
BTW, the whole installation cost me less than half the cost of the BMW cooler.

Last edited by Vetracr; 01-04-2018 at 12:02 PM..
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      01-04-2018, 04:22 PM   #11
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Looks like solid work, great job!
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      01-11-2018, 07:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vetracr View Post
Some follow on notes.
The cooler and hose lines took almost a quart of oil so there will be 8 quarts of oil circulating instead of the factory 7 quarts.
But you still drain and fill with 7 because you can't drain the cooler, right?
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      01-11-2018, 07:51 AM   #13
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Correct. You can't drain and refill oil cooler but I change oil and filter after every track event so its not a problem. No different than N54 oil cooler.
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      01-20-2020, 10:04 AM   #14
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hi. I'm interested in your job.
where you get that cap? ebay or amazon?
Please let me know where you bought it or the Url.
thanks
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      01-28-2020, 01:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay17 View Post
hi. I'm interested in your job.
where you get that cap? ebay or amazon?
Please let me know where you bought it or the Url.
thanks
Jay,

I purchased 5/8" Dorman cap for water pump outlet at NAPA auto parts store.
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